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The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop Erden Ertorer, PhD, and his colleagues from presenting their research on ultrafast lasers on May 14 at a national conference.

The CLEO Conference ( is a prominent meeting for the field of photonics or the technical applications of light.  The laser is the most recognizable example of photonics.  Ertorer and his colleagues at the University of Toronto are studying the application of ultrafast lasers to medical procedures, as well as precision manufacturing.  An ultrafast laser concentrates the laser’s power in quick bursts on time scales of attoseconds (one quintillionth of a second) to picoseconds (one trillionth of a second).  Having a laser on for such short periods of time reduces the damage to the material or tissue.

The virtual CLEO talk, titled “Femtosecond Laser Nano-Filament Explosion: Opening Fiber Bragg Gratings for Opto-Fluidic Sensing,” was presented by Peter Herman, a professor at the University of Toronto.  Ertorer’s work was partially funded by a Dean’s Summer Grant.

Submitted by: Michael Wood, PhD, chair, Physics